ALOR STAR: MEET Nor Zuhhada Abdul Rahman. This 32-year-old is no ordinary bahulu maker.
Together with her husband, Ismail Zakaria, 46, the couple has successfully reinvented the bahulu, a traditional Malay sponge cake much sought-after during the Hari Raya festive season.
After testing the market, Nor Zuhhada "modernised" the appetising traditional Malay delicacy by giving it new flavours.
Top on her list of flavoured bahulu, which are sold under the Bahulu Salwa label, are the orange-flavoured ones.
"The original bahulu is still our No. 1 seller, but there is a growing craving for our oranged-flavoured bahulu.
"I have my husband to thank for for introducing the flavour," she said.
The couple own a small bakery in Teluk Cengai.
According to Nor Zuhhada, after inheriting the bakery from her mother, she and Ismail were always finding new ways to expand their business.
"We took a calculated risk in giving our bahulu flavours. There has been some unsuccessful attempts in the past, but we have been fortunate in giving the Malay traditional kuih a new lease of life," she said.
She said fast becoming popular among schoolchildren are her chocolate-flavoured bahulu. Others are the strawberry- and pandan- flavoured bahulu.
Business has been good for the couple.
Since they started making the new bahulu in 2006, their business has grown to four shops, two kiosks (at supermarkets) and a mini-factory to make and sell them.
With Hari Raya Aidilfitri around the corner, the bakery and its other outlets are enjoying brisk business, making Nor Zuhhada very happy.
"We are still taking orders, including for weddings and other special occasions," she said.